At the Reutlingen location, Robert Bosch GmbH develops and produces microelectronic and micromechanical components for applications in the automotive industry and in consumer electronics, such as smartphones and game consoles.

The order includes the automated feed of wafers to production systems, including transportation via conveyor sections, intermediate buffering of the carriers via storage systems in cleanrooms, and machine loading using stationary and mobile robots.

“With this repeated major order, we consider our long-standing, trustful business relationship with Bosch as confirmed.” states Heinz Martin Esser, Managing Director of Roth & Rau – Ortner GmbH. “Since 2010 we have supported Bosch in automating its material flows. Back then, we started with an isolated solution, the automated loading of wet-chemical systems, successively integrating further production areas into automation.” Now, 50% of the Reutlingen 200 mm wafer plant is automated. Further units are in the planning phase.

Thomas Morgenstern, plant manager at the Bosch location in Reutlingen, explains: “As a global leader, Bosch masters the increasing complexity of highly integrated circuits and micro-electromechanical sensors. To be able to survive increasing competition across the world, back then we decided to automate our plant. Positive experience with the automation systems installed to date has led us to continue on this path. We are certain that plant automation represents one of the greatest potentials for increased efficiency, quality assurance, and boosted flexibility.”

That automation will play an even larger role in the future, above all for 200 mm plants, is reflected in a current study by the SEMI semiconductor foundation (Global 200mm Fab Outlook to 2018). The emergence of the “Internet of Things” and growing digitalization in all areas of life have boosted the demand for integrated circuits (ASICs), analog ICs, high-performance components and micro-mechanical sensors (MEMS). Many of these semiconductor elements are produced in 200 mm plants. To effectively manage increased need, investments into equipping and retrofitting these plants with newer production equipment and automation technology will increase in years to come.

Dr. Steffen Pollack, Managing Partner of HAP GmbH Dresden, sees this study as a confirmation of the company’s business model: “The affiliation between Roth & Rau – Ortner GmbH and HAP GmbH allows us to offer our customers in the semiconductor industry complex, integrated system solutions for material flow automation from a single source. We are concentrating our focus more and more on retrofitting older 200 mm plants to prepare them for future market requirements. Our popular modular production range of hardware and software as well as innovations from our R&D department enables us to offer tailored solutions with an unparalleled degree of customization and maximum functional reliability.” And not only the Bosch order shows that the market is accepting this offer – further international projects of renowned customers in the industry have also been won.

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